City and developers in court over impact fees on new homes
WINNIPEG -- Lawyers for the City of Winnipeg and the home building industry are in court over impact fees.
A three-day hearing is underway with nine lawyers in the room representing all sides.
Developers argue the fee on new homes in sprawling suburbs is unfair, breaches development agreements and the city does not have the jurisdiction to impose them.
Lawyers for the city told the court there is nothing in the development agreements that prevent the municipality from adding a charge.
If successful, builders are also seeking restitution.
The city lawyers questioned if there was restitution who would be eligible, permit holders, builders or homeowners.
Former Manitoba Home Builders' Association President Mike Moore said some builders have refund agreements in place with homeowners if they win the case.
"And I know in the case of some builders, as we've gotten into the legal process, they've actually sent out letters to some of their clients, if and when," said Moore.
As of the end of 2019, the city has collected $29.7 million of impact fee revenue. It’s sitting in a separate fund, unspent, pending the outcome of the case.
Mayor Brian Bowman pushed for the fees, saying they’re needed to help pay for infrastructure and services in new neighbourhoods.